I Walked In A Runway Show As A Non-Model And All My Top Model Dreams Came True
But seriously: Walking on the balls of your feet is not for wimps.
Hi, I'm Kristin. Like most people, I am not a model.
Admittedly, I was one of those kids who thought they could grow up to become a model, and as they got older realized that they, uh...didn't look right. In every sense of the word.
I'm plus-size, but even more importantly, I'm not the right TYPE of plus-size: My body is apple-shaped, my face isn't symmetrical, I'm 5'3''. So I generally don't see a lot of models who look like me.
I wondered — could someone like me actually walk in a fashion runway show? And so when I was given the opportunity to walk in Torrid’s winter 2016 fashion show, I jumped at the chance:
And here's how it went!
First, I needed to be fitted for the clothes I'd be wearing in the show. I met with Torrid's fashion director, Rachel Braband, and Torrid stylist Ami Jenner, who had put together 25 looks for 12 models.
I tried each of my three outfits on, and the show's stylists IMMEDIATELY descended on me with adjustments and accessories, like a swarm of very type-A locusts:
By an amazing stroke of luck, only one of my three outfits needed alterations, but I would need to wear a push-up bra to fill out my proportions up top.
As soon as I got out my clothes, they started the alterations right away, like right there in the room.
Before the show, the other 11 models and I practiced walking on the runway, which is a bit like taking a very sexy field sobriety test.
I got some tips from Torrid's brand ambassador Georgina Burke. Like when you first walk onto the runway, you're supposed to strike a pose, à la: "Oh, sorry, I didn't notice all you people there because I'm very hot."
Then, she told me walk as fiercely as I could, which is very hard when your entire weight is currently being balanced on the balls of your feet.
Not walking off the end of the runway is very hard because you can't look at your feet.
I had to work on not swinging my arms too much, and not making a face like I was walking to a tax audit.
About four hours before the show, everybody went into hair and makeup!
This might seem like a long time, but there were three hair and makeup teams for 12 models, so it's actually kind of impressive it only took each team about an hour per girl.
The backstage area where everyone was getting their hair and makeup done was MUCH less chaotic than I was expecting.
As a model, you don't get to control your hair and your makeup, which means you may end up with styling you don't like.
And when they told me that my hair was going to be in a ponytail, I had a minor freakout.
When it was time to get my makeup done, they lowered the second bomb: I would be walking the runway without my glasses.
For my makeup, I was given a smoky eye and a nude lip — another tough thing for me, because I'm very self-conscious about the size of my mouth.
About 45 minutes before the show, I got dressed in my first outfit, and I felt like an updated Daria.
During the show, I would change into my second and third outfits, respectively.
I felt like I looked like this:
Also, once we were all dressed for the runway show, we were no longer allowed to sit, unless we had butts that were also programmable steam irons.
This can be a problem if you happen to have very tall shoes and a set of calves threatening to annex themselves away from your body — I did a lot of cool leaning against doorways waiting for the show to start.